Onboard Sound Vs. Add in Sound Card

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by ROBSCIX, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. vf

    vf Ancient Guru

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    That is interesting. I never had any issues with the Auzen Prelude until the Windows 10 19xx update hit. That was when I put the Audigy 2 ZS in as I didn't want to be disabling driver signing to use the X-Fi Prelude.
     
  2. dsbig

    dsbig Ancient Guru

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    last couples months I been using my titanium fatality pro card. even though I have zxr. I like the way the xfi sound.

    I would of liked using my titanium HD. but its not working. windows detects it and installs the HDA drivers. but thats it.
    no audio plays with the HDA, and drivers installer doesnt detect the card. forcing the drivers results in device manager stating that the driver could not start. the card gets really hot.
    maybe capacitors gone bad? comparing to online pics. the black on the silver capacitors isnt solid black,they all have sliver lines going through it.


    also correct me if im wrong
    something I been researching on.
    any card after xfi, all audio is ran in software. core3d chip is just a codec like realtek chips . openal and alchemy is totally software processed even though log states its using native openal , its still software. midi and soundfont is software only. software included with the cards handle effects and such.

    xfi: openal is hardware processed. and alchemy eax is passed through native openal and hardware processed.
    midi and soundfonts are processed or partially processed through hardware.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  3. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    If the card gets really hot, the silicon has too much electron leakage. Basically it didnt age well.
    You 'might' be able to get it running again by fitting a decent heatsink to the chip that gets hot, and maybe blow a fan at it if it doesnt cool enough.
    I've done this before with success.
     
  4. vf

    vf Ancient Guru

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    I've been listening to the Gigabyte Aorus Z490 Xtreme onboard sound for a few hours, then comparing it to the Audigy 2 ZS then another system with the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude. There aint much in it when listening to them all with the AKG K702 and SMSL sAp II amp.

    There is very tiny differences but nothing really stands out. Only the AE-5 I didn't like. It had lower bass in the 10Hz that was sweet but the mid range bass felt cold and the treble felt a smidge bright.

    For some reason I love the sound from the Audigy 2 ZS, X-Fi Prelude and the Gigabyte Aorus Z490 sound signature.

    What I do find very interesting is how the Audigy 2 ZS still holds up really well today in Windows 10 for listening and gaming. As its drivers is from 2018 for a card that was bought in 2003/4. With the Z490 listening with my eyes closed, I don't think I could tell which card was being played apart from the lack of rich sound from the AE-5.
     

  5. Ghosty

    Ghosty Ancient Guru

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    The main advantage of using a dedicated sound card is it frees up CPU usage. Plus you get better overall sound quality at higher frequencies as well as surround sound options.
     
  6. vf

    vf Ancient Guru

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    With all these massive core processors, are you really going to notice a little CPU usage?
     
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  7. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    none tbh, most audio engines are now software surround using xaudio.
     
  8. Ghosty

    Ghosty Ancient Guru

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    Probably not, but when you take in to account games like Cyberpunk, then every bit of the CPU power is needed.
     
  9. Hypernaut

    Hypernaut Master Guru

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    DId you take part in the mass beta test too? sorry it was more of a pre-alpha innit.
     
  10. Ghosty

    Ghosty Ancient Guru

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    No I didn't. I wasn't aware there was one?
     

  11. vf

    vf Ancient Guru

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    Isn't that interesting. A sound card from 1992.

     
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  12. NvidiaFreak650

    NvidiaFreak650 Master Guru

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    Problem with PC Sound Cards today there no HDMI (eARC) or Dolby Atmos/DTS X support.
     
  13. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    You havent explained why you think those things, none are true for normal PC use.

    eARC is needed between the display and the amplifier, thats where it is of benefit and its intended function!
    It isnt needed between the PC and the display for normal PC use.
    ie eARC is used to either pass TV sound to the amplifier system, or to use the TV as a pass through device so a PC/Blu Ray player etc can connect directly to the TV and have audio passed unmolested to the amplifier system.
    eARC between the TV and PC (assuming gfx cards support eARC which they dont atm) would let you record the sound from the TV or something else connected to the TV.
    But then you would not have eARC to the amplifier because only one device can be connected to the eARC HDMI port on the TV.
    Is that what you want to do?

    PC soundcards dont need to support HDMI, its already on gfx cards and would waste the soundcard because it would serve no purpose.
    And video from the gfx card would have to be fed to the soundcard somehow, adding latency and either tie-ing up the PCIE bus or using another cable between the 2 cards. The alternative would be to have 2 HDMI outs from the PC, one for audio and one for video, which is ridiculous as a norm, but can help if your "TV" or "amp" dont have eARC - which is counter intuitive to this discussion.
    The price of soundcards would increase a lot with HDMI port(s) due to implementation (it will need a breakout card slot cos there isnt enough space and driver modding + signal control) and licensing!
    What HDMI does is move the soundcard to whatever the audio end stop is, so you no longer need a soundcard.
    Software to perform basic audio functions already exists in Windows or can be found online.
    Even if it costs, use the money you saved not buying a soundcard!

    Dolby Atmos and DTS are supported by Windows 10, you can either use the free apps or buy it.
    Strange to make such a claim without checking on google.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
  14. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Sorry to reply so late, I only just noticed your post :)

    Its interesting you found the AE-5 too bright, I gave the AE-5 a test drive and found the opposite.
    Comparing to a high end DAC with a neutral signature (to give no doubt where the issue lay), the AE-5 was missing a lot of excitement in the high end (far too much imo) and treble was less bright, audio was a lot duller.

    The AE-5 is however a bit brighter than my Auzentech Prelude and onboard sound.
    Tested with Sennheiser 650 and Meze Empyrean headphones.
    The AE-5 is a great soundcard but it definitely falls short on treble definition.

    This suggests the headphones you use have a brighter signature than you like.
    The reason you prefer older DAC soundcards is because they are less bright and hide the issue.
    I dont mind being wrong, this is what came to mind given my experience :)

    ps
    it might take time to get used to more treble, and depends if you find any value in it.
    If you dont hear extra detail that improves imaging etc, its easy to reject.
    See if you can put your cans on a neutral high end DAC setup to find whether you can gel with it.
    This should give an idea whether something like the AE-7 will work for you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
  15. vf

    vf Ancient Guru

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    This was all on the AKG K702.
     

  16. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Yes ...
    It appears you arent a fan of the brighter signature you heard on the AE-5 with your headphones, yet the AE-5 isnt very bright.
    Your headphones are quite resolving so it might be that your phones are not suitable for you when partnered with a more resolving DAC.
    This is worth checking.
    Please bear in mind, it could even be a problem with some of the hardware and nothing to do with your hearing, see my later anecdotes below.

    I suggested its worth investigating if a better DAC and your "specific" phones will give something more to the sound that will allow you to gel with a brighter signature.
    Believe me, there is a LOT more to be heard in music with the right kit, its a shame to miss out for fear of it being over bright.
    Its possible you may need a less resolving headphone if you move to a better DAC.
    Thats what I am hoping you can work out, to help your upgrade path as you progress on your hifi journey.


    I understand what it is to have a sound thats a lot too bright, I bought KEF Reference 1 speakers earlier this year and find them very sharp.
    Yet my brother has the same speakers and wishes for a little more brightness!
    We have already compared amps and found them to be indistinguishable from each other.
    Our DACs are quite close in character so cannot account for our different experiences.
    We live far apart so it will be this Christmas when we find if our speakers are indeed different, or one/both of us has messed up hearing lol.
    For now I've put a 1ohm resistor on the mid/treble input to help subdue them, and sometimes have to EQ treble down a tad too.
    If our speakers really are different we may swap :D

    I state that because its also possible your headphones are uncharacteristically too bright, manufacturing defects do happen.
    Or even the AE-5 was a poor sample.
    If anything was wrong can be proven it may help you know your hearing better.


    Another highly relevant anecdote:
    My Meze Empyrean cans were lacking bass so Meze asked I send them back for testing.
    They found from around 20Hz down was 2dB low in volume, replacing the drivers helped.
    Yet they still didnt sound as reviews suggested, bass was still not strong enough.
    Then last year I found an even bigger issue.
    I didnt realise it when using speakers because bass has always been supplemented with the subwoofer and adjusted it to suit, so there was no issue
    It was only when I upgraded to the latest DAC (via part exchange) I discovered all of a sudden my hifi now had wayyy too much bass and the headphones suddenly sounded exactly as the reviews stated. Adjusting the subwoofer fixed my hifi and put my world to rights :)
    I was blown away, it was a £2.5K DAC from the same mfr as the new DAC, supposedly with the same sound signature!
    From what I've discovered since, it looks like it was a problem DAC, not how it should have sounded.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
  17. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    I actually had that sound card back in 1992.....
     
  18. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    soundblaster cards tend to have a warmer sound than onboard, all to do with the op amps in the end.
     
  19. vf

    vf Ancient Guru

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    The measured graph doesn't look that far out to make it that warm on the Audigy 2 ZS.

    https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/creative-labs-audigy-2-zs

    Or the Prelude.
    https://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/auzentech_x_fi_prelude_7_1_review,9.html


    @Mufflore I'll have to install the AE-5 in another PC again to judge it once more. On my main PC I aint putting any Creative drivers near it. It's using an external Gigabyte USB-C ESS DAC.

    I do remember the guns in CS:GO extremely piercing compared to other games on the AE-5. Music and other stuff was fine.
     
  20. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    the values might not seem like it, but to the ear there was always a perceivable difference - component depending.

    does the AE-5 have Crystallizer enabled?, the weapons sounds in CSGO weren't that decent in quality, the crystallizer will make this more percievable.
     

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